Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008 -- Ranchitos

Greetings from Mexico, where it isn't always extremely hot. This week marked the change in the weather. I was surprised to find out how cold it can get here. (It was only really cold one day this week, but they say that more days like it are around the corner.) The cold doesn't last long, though. From what other missionaries have said, by Februrary I'll be tanning in the hot Mexican sun once more.

I'm doing great. . . . I love my area more than ever. Our area is huge and I still haven't been to all of it. This past week we have done a lot of work in the small
ranchitos, little colonies of a hundred houses or so in the middle of nowhere (more details to follow.) Since our area is so huge, there are tons of people to teach. (This week we found over 30 new investigators.)

I also love our ward. It is one of the biggest in the mission (we have an active membership of about 150.) There are two companionships in our ward (we live together). And from what I understand, the ward should be splitting before too long. I usually play the piano for sacrament meeting in this ward as well, although there is also a Sister who can play.

* * *

I´m sorry to hear about BYU [vs Utah in football]. We'll do better next year.

Happy Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, Thanksgiving isn't really celebrated here. The other American Elder in the house and I were thinking about cooking something, but unfortunately Thanksgiving falls near the end of the month, when missionaries have no money for things like mashed potato flakes or canned corn. That's all right. I'll be extra grateful on Thursday. * * *

Yesterday I had a bit of a disappointment. We have worked really hard this week, and were expecting over 10 investigators to come to church. In the morning, we left the house an hour and a half early to wake some of them up. None of them answered the door, but I still expected that those who were going to come on their own would be waiting for us when we got the chapel. None of them were, however. None of our investigators came to church. I was sad. It seems the harder we work, the harder the devil works. He loves to give people excuses not to come to church. But this week we'll do better. We're going to make sure all of our investigators understand the importance of coming to church, and also make sure that they have rides to get there.

Now I said there was more to come about the
ranchitos. I can't remember if I've told you anything about Miriam and Roberto Carlos and their children. They are a family that were baptized the day before I was transferred to this area. They are incredible. They have such strong testimonies and grow in understanding every day. I wish I could tell you everything I've learned from them, but time doesn't allow. Anyway, they live in one of these little ranchitos, and many of the other families there are relatives of theirs. Yesterday we were scheduled to eat with [the Carlos family], so they we drove with them after church. After the comida (the big mid-day meal), my companion and I spent the whole day in the ranchito teaching family and friends of Miriam and Roberto Carlos, people whom they had invited to hear the missionaries. It was incredible and taught me a lot about the importance of members in missionary work. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a new branch formed in the ranchito before too long, filled with people who were introduced to the gospel by Miriam and Roberto Carlos.

Every week brings new challenges, but also new blessings. Missionary work is the hardest thing I've ever done, but usually it doesn't seem like it. I love every day. I love seeing the way the gospel of Jesus Christ changes people, including me. Jesus lives, that I know, as does our Heavenly Father. He loves each of us more than we can understand, and is willing to do anything, [other than taking] away our agency or [breaking] His own laws, to help us return to live with Him again.

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